THE BLOG

Sex [R] or Money [D]?

05/25/2011 12:05 pm ET

Now that the FCC has ruled that every blog has to have the "Paris Percentage" -- some quotient alluding to Paris Hilton -- let's get that part over with, shall we?

Ms Hilton's great-grandfather, hotelier Conrad Hilton, famously ended his public appearances by asking, "And please remember to put the shower curtain inside the tub."

Evidently his descendant believes fervently in delegating. She may even have people who put the shower curtain inside the tub for her, because in court this week, defending her illegal license-less driving, she told the judge that "I just sign what people tell me to sign" - including, presumably, the lawmen who stopped her. When was asked whether she had even read the license-suspension notice mailed to her, she declared, "I have people who do that for me." Maybe she truly believes her "people" can serve her time for her. And maybe if she'd stayed the brown-eyed, brown-haired girl nature made her, she wouldn't be in this fix. The phrase
"dumb brunette" doesn't often cross anyone's lips.

We now return to our regularly scheduled blog, already in progress.

I'm thinking that there are many ways to sort Democrats from Republicans, but when it comes to scandals, I like this helpful little rule of thumb:

All scandals are about power. But I think Democrats especially covet Republicans' money, and Republicans have the hots for Democrats' sex lives. And there's the tripwire.

Democrat Chicago's Dan Rostenkowski took a long, hard fall from the big chair in the Ways and Means Committee into the slammer; Rosty allegedly used official dough to pay ghost employees, buy prezzies for his pals, and he bought stamps with federal money to turn them in for cash. Louisiana's William Jefferson's home fridge yielded $90,000 in cash when federal investigators looking into bribery charges opened the freezer compartment and found the dough divided among various frozen-food containers -- presumably the four major food groups: $10s, $20s, $50s and $100s.

Over on the red end of things, Lynne Cheney's spicy frontier novel Sisters stirred the pot during the 2004 election. In 2006, Rep. Mark Foley resigned over naughty guy-guy emails and IMs to boys who had served as House pages. Duke Cunningham, the California Republican already in prison for bribery and corruption, allegedly had poker nights brightened by the company ladies of the evening provided by contractors. Top neo-con Paul Wolfowitz, whose hand is on the World Bank tiller, approved a nice raise for his lady friend before her transfer from the bank to the State Department, where she now earns more than her boss, Condoleezza Rice.

And there's Randall Tobias, former Eli Lilly chief and just-resigned deputy secretary of state, who quit after admitting he was a client of the so-called DC Madam, but says he just called on the "gals" to "come over to the condo and give me a massage," no different from calling for pizza. Massages are great for getting the kinks out.

It isn't a law of physics ; there are loads of exceptions to the red-or-blue blow-or-dough rule [Wilbur Mills, for starters]. But the next time the word "scandal" hits the headlines, check whether the word "money" or "sex" is there, and then try to predict whether the subject has an R or a D after his name. You can't take it to Vegas, but maybe you can make book on it -- a little black book -- in the Beltway.

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